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Issue No. 321 25 August 2006  

Crude Politics
It is one of the great mysteries of Australian politics that the Prime Minister has managed to emerge unscathed from one of the most profound geo-political misadventures since history was first recorded.


Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Macquarie Street and Canberra are squaring off over safety in the workplace, NSW Minister for Industrial relations, John Della Bosca, explains what's at stake.

Unions: Fighting Back
When John Howard's building industry enforcer started threatening people's homes, one couple hit the road. Jim Marr met them in Sydney.

Industrial: What Cowra Means
The ruling on the Cowra abattoir case highlights the implications of the new IR rules, according to John Howe and Jill Murray

Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Howard Government hypocrisy is showcased in its climate change manoeuvring, Stuart Rosewarne writes:

Politics: Page Turner
A new book leaves no doubt about whether the faction came before the ego, Nathan Brown writes.

Economics: The State of Labour
The capacity of the state to shape the political economy and thus improve the social lives of the people must be reasserted, argues Geoff Dow.

International: Workers Blood For Oil
A new book by Abdullah Muhsin and Alan Johnson lifts the lid on the bloody reality of US backed democracy for Iraq's trade unions

History: Liberty in Spain
Worker Self-Management is good management. The proof in Spain was in Catalania, Andalusia and continues in the Basque Country, as Neale Towart explains.

Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
Phil Doyle thought he'd find nostalgia, but instead Vulgar Press' new book, Maroon & Blue is a penetrating insight into the suburban mind under stress.


 Howard Amps Up Repression

 Andrews on the Fiddle

 Robbo Flags Mobile Holidays

 Shop Group Maroons Kids

 Condition Critical

 BHP Confronts Chilean Resistance

 The Thin Yellow Line

 Safety Goes to the Dogs

 Pollies Wings Clipped By Junket Ban

 Technicians Win Action Ballot

 Academics Take Contract Lessons

 Hardie, Ha, Ha - Directors Laughing

 Amcor Sends Hundreds Packing

 Warren Goes to Ground

 Activist's What's On!


The Locker Room
Ruled Out
Phil Doyle plays by the rules

Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter One - Tommy and "The Boy"

Westie Wing
Ian West wonders what might happen if the NSW Coalition actually did win power next March at the State elections.

 Seek and Ye Shall Find
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Tool Shed

The Brown Tongue Lizard

When he is not losing the corpses of servicemen, Brendan Nelson has been cooking up new ways to attract 2,600 extra people to the armed forces.


This week he unveiled his new plan - allowing people who have previously used drugs, had asthma or have certain tattoos to don the khaki.

Giving people a new start in life sits well with the defence minister. While he covets the Liberal leadership today he's own background includes flirting with earring and the ALP.

In fact, as a recent profile in The Age observed: "The Costello camp - and the wider Liberal Party establishment - have contempt for Nelson

"They point with derision to his 20-year association with the ALP and reel off a long list of examples that paint Nelson as a grovelling opportunist who would do almost anything to ingratiate himself with whatever audience he needs to please.

"A particular sore point in the Costello camp is that while they were all busy warring with the Trotskyites on university campuses through the 1970s and early '80s, Nelson was an ALP member."

It may explain nelson's unctious zeal in prosecuting the ideological jihad against university student unionism while Education Minister, a sort of reparations for collaborating.

Next it was the mad hand-clappers rooting for ''intelligent design' that he sidles up to, in a sort of living refutation of the theory concerned.

And, Nelson's enduring legacy to the tertiary sector - the ideological pursuit of AWAs becoming the main criteria for public funding - not excellence in research, but an industrial instrument,

Nelson is the worst sort of Tory, the sort who strike the pose to get ahead - at least you know the muck where a Nick Minchin stands, with Nelson its way more slippery.

His on-going embarrassment at the Kovco stuff-up probably still has a few acts to play out. What is sure is he will shake it off nonchalantly, After all, reptiles need to stay moist.


The most inspiring interpretation of this week's tool get's a souvenir edition of Ship of Tools. Deface the Tool of the Week, click the button above to post your artwork, fill out the form and send your entry in and we'll post the winners next week in the Tool of the Week Gallery.


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